Friday, 11 July 2014

To be or not to be... a stay-at-home mum?



I wish I could be a stay-at home mum.

I would love to dedicate myself to looking after and bringing up my daughter full time, being there when she wakes up in the morning, witnessing all her "firsts" and just spending time with her.

Unfortunately, that's a luxury I can't afford.

It's been difficult trying to make ends meet these past few months and my husband has had to deal with all the pressure of having to maintain three adults, one baby and four dogs (oh, and don't forget the budgie, too) on one income.  It's just not feasible.  So, as stress levels in this house threaten to go through the roof, I've been sending off my CV, applying for jobs and coming out of my hermit-like existence to attend interviews, give demo classes and do psychometric tests, leaving my nearly-four-month-old baby in the care of my mother-in-law.

In any case, if I'd been on maternity leave, I would have gone back to work by now, this being Mexico where paid maternity leave is only about three months.  No maternity leave for me, though.  In my life before becoming a mum I was self-employed, teaching private English classes, and had quite a reasonable number of students where we used to live.  Then we moved here when I was around five months pregnant, so I had to start again from scratch.  Through a little advertising in our local area (mostly just in our street), I got a few new students and was teaching (part-time) right up to the day before the birth.  After about a month and a half, I decided it would be a good time to resume classes (driven by a combination of not wanting to "abandon" my new students for too long and needing the money), so two of my students returned to continue studying with me, and the rest...didn't.

So the unreliable nature of this kind of work was highlighted for me, yet again.  The same thing happened last year when we went back to England for three weeks and I lost about half of my students.  What's the lesson here?  I can never take a break, ever, for fear of losing students!

There are other disadvantages, too:  no paid holiday, no sick leave, no benefits, no stable income, students may suddenly drop out or not pay on time or want to take a holiday... I can't fully switch off from being a mum, as Little One is always close by; I hear if she starts crying and I sometimes have to pop out of the class to attend to her.  I feel less professional.

Receiving a salary and all the legal entitlements that come with it would make a great difference to our economic situation and our peace of mind.  It would be nice to get out of the house every day, too, meet more people at work and perhaps even make some friends.

On the other hand, there are obvious advantages to being able to work from home and having more control over my working hours, especially while Little One is still so young.  In fact, that is what I had been planning to do; we conditioned a little space in the house as a classroom which works pretty well.  The logistics of going out to work are complicated, to say the least, and I really don't know how it would all function.  To get anywhere not within walking distance is a nightmare since I don't drive!

I suppose we'll just see what happens (I seem to use this phrase way too much).  Either way, I will have to divide myself between work and motherhood and try to find a balance that works for us all.
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8 comments:

  1. I'd love to be a SAHM too but not sure it will work out for us either. I'm due to go back to work August 2015 after 12m MAT leave. The idea is to see if we can cope on hubby's wage for the last 3 months on non paid leave and if not, I go back x

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    1. Thanks for your comment! Even if you do have to go back to work, at least you'll have had the benefit of 12 months leave, which is wonderful, and takes the pressure off a bit. Good luck, and I hope everything turns out how you want it to.

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  2. Oh your post rings so true for me right now. I'm currently maternity leave and have to go back next week. I wish more than anything that I could be a SAHM or even work from home. It's heartbreaking to have to hand your children over to someone else. Hopefully things may change in the future x

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    1. Next week - that's so soon. It must be very difficult. Is there any way you can work from home, at least some of the time? I think in this situation it's worse for the mums than for the children; we feel guilty, but the children are usually fine. I hope your return to work goes well. Thanks for commenting!

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  3. I completely understand where you are coming from. I am fortunate the be a SAHM and we can survive... just! But we wouldn't really have any money for anything else. So I decided to work from home. Now I get the best of both worlds.

    I am hoping you find a resolution soon.

    Thank you for linking up with the #WeekendBlogHop

    Laura x x x

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    1. You're lucky that you are able to work from home, it sounds like the best solution. Thanks for your comment!

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  4. I would LOVE to be a stay at home mum, but its really not on the cards for us :( I hope you find something that you are happy with and works well for you. From your newest bloglovin follower :) xx

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    1. Thanks for following me, it's a real boost as I have only just started the blog. I think you must be my 3rd or 4th follower! yay! At the moment, i'm advertising as much as I can for private students and hoping I can make a decent income just with that. We'll see what happens!

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